The opening riff to Pearl Jam's "Alive" was pretty much the first thing any of us heard of this now legendary rock band. In the first video lesson below, I will show you how it is done.
This riff has consistently been voted the best of the 90's. Whatever your thoughts are on that there is no denying that it helped to propel the band to stratospheric heights in the early 90's.
Perhaps it is the laid back feel, cool hammer-ons or groove that makes this riff so memorable, but whatever the case it certainly deserves to be part of the guitar riffs section here at GL365.
Technically there isn't very much to be worried about with this one. The initial slide and quick hammer-on part of the riff is obviously the one part that will give some players a little but of trouble
Try to make them feel almost like one movement. What I mean by that is if you try to focus on the slide up then focus on the hammer-on lick it might make the riff sound a bit choppy.
Instead try to focus on the hammer-on lick and treat the slide as just a quick note you hit while sliding up to play the hammer-on lick. I think all of this will make since to you pretty quickly after practicing the riff a bit.
Also, there is a little half-step bend to contend with as well. Those are generally a little bit harder to keep in tune than whole step bends so make sure you focus on that a little bit too. For better control of the bend I recommend bending the string down towards the floor.
In the second video lesson, I will show you how to play all of the remaining rhythm guitar parts found in the rest of the song. There is a lot of cool chord work to learn in this video. Then, after you have learned all of the chords and riffs, it is time to tackle that solo!
In the third and fourth video lessons, I will take a look at that epic guitar solo note-for-note. Clocking in at almost 2 minutes long, I have decided to break the solo up into 2 video lessons to make it a bit easier to follow.
This solo contains lots of blues based playing with a lot of bends, double-stops, fast legato licks, unison bends and more.
I will take you through this very exciting solo phrase-by-phrase since I feel that is the quickest way to memorize and get the more difficult licks under your fingers.
Like I said before, this is a pretty long guitar solo, so don't feel that you will have to complete in one practice session. Some more advanced players will probably be able to do that, but the majority will take a few practice sessions at least.
Alright that is just about all I have to say about this one. Enjoy!
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Alive Guitar Lesson - Main Riff